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Bloomington Micro Loop

The Bloomington Micro-loop is a quick ride that starts at the Bloomington trailhead for the Bearclaw Poppy trail. It features about 4 miles of nice narrow singletrack, then two miles on gravel road to close the loop. Total length is 6 miles. There's about 200 feet total elevation change. The singletrack is easier intermediate-technical. Note that the northern limb of the loop is the uphill route to Bearclaw below Clavicle Hill, and sees dramatically more riders than the southern portion.

Cholla cactus in a wash.

The Bloomington Trail  is designed to be ridden ONE WAY. At the trail's west end, you can connect to the Stucki Springs or Bearclaw Poppy trails, or you can complete the formal Micro Loop by heading counterclockwise back to the trailhead.

From the Bloomington trailhead, ride westbound on the combined Bearclaw/Microloop trail. Stay left to avoid getting lost on alternate lines. Just after you pass the western corner of the fence around the flood basin (about 1/3 mile from the step-over gate), fork left when you see the "Bloomington Micro Loop" sign.

The Bearclaw Poppy trail and the Bloomington Microloop share this common trailhead. Photos January 14, 2010.

There will be some branching sucker trails. Most of them rejoin. In general, stay to the left and on what appears to be the main trail as you head northwest through the white and red desert soil. Don't make new trails, and try not to follow any branching "alternate" routes. Respect the cryptobiotic soil.

The trail parallels the Roller Coaster section of the Bearclaw Poppy, which is about 1/3 mile away. Some "cheater routes" forking to the north go to Bearclaw. In general, stay left when in doubt.

After about 1/2 mile, the trail will drop in to a shallow wash. You'll follow the wash bottom for a mile or so, still heading northwest.

The wash bottom is usually firm and smooth. No tire-sinking sand. In this spot, the wash breaks over stone slabs. The ledges are easy for experts; a bit of a challenge for beginners.

About two miles from the beginning of the loop, the trail climbs out of the wash. You're back on the familiar white clay, still heading northwest.

Bruce's Superfly 100 takes a rest in the wash.

Ignore any branching trails here. (Old routes persist a long time in the desert. If a trail has rocks piled on it, don't go there!) After a short distance on the white singletrack, you'll reach a clearly marked 4-way intersection. Straight ahead is the way to Stucki Springs and the Snakepit trail; to the right is the connector to middle of Bearclaw Poppy just below Clavicle Hill. 

When you reach this spot, turn left. (We're looking straight -- northwest -- at the Stucki Springs trail.)

(If you decide to go right: Bearclaw is one-way from Clavicle Hill back to Bloomington, returning you to the trailhead. Or you can head north on the two-way portion of Bearclaw.)

To ride the Bloomington Micro Loop, turn left at the 4-way intersection. There should be a "Bloomington Micro Loop" sign here. Follow the singletrack down into the wash. The trail will head to the south, following the course of the wash. 

View from a small ridge where the trail shortcuts across a small rise before re-entering the wash.

In several spots, you can either continue down the wash bottom, or follow the singletrack between goosenecks of the wash. The riding here is pretty easy. This is a good ride for experienced beginners.

View as we ride the wash bottom.

After about a mile in the wash, you'll reach a gate at the edge of the Desert Preserve, where the wash opens up. Climb over the metal gate. (The step-over  around the gate had been fenced off during my last visit, probably because idiots with light motorcycles were lifting them into the desert preserve.)

The singletrack exits and re-enters the wash multiple times.

Turn left on the gravel road (Curly Hollow Road) and head back to the Bloomington Trailhead. You'll spend about two miles on the dirt road.

Mini-loop forks off Bearclaw Poppy: 37 03.221'  W 113 37.508'
Intersection (4-way) with Stucki:  37 04.156'  W 113 39.390'
Gate as singletrack hits Curly Hollow Road:  37 03.435'  W 113 39.440'


 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

Getting there:  Go to the west end of Navajo Drive in Bloomington. Go across the cattle guard. See the low rail on the fence 100 feet to your right? That's the trailhead. N 37 03.116'  W 113 37.362'. Start out on Bearclaw Poppy, and fork left on the mini-loop about 1/3 mile later.

Wide-area view showing microloop in lower right.
The loop can be extended by riding Stucki Springs.

Sample Bloomington ride "Snakepit Figure-eight" with Snakepit, Stucki Spring, and Bearclaw:
0.0   Bloomington TH, step over gate
        N37 03.125 W113 37.344
0.2   Fork L on Bloomington Microloop
        N37 03.224 W113 37.504
2.4   4-way, keep straight to Stucki Spring
        N37 04.160 W113 39.387
2.7   R and into wash for Snakepit
        N37 04.268 W113 39.584
2.8   R on edge of wash (in wash = alternate)
        N37 04.326 W113 39.699
3.1   Rejoin alternate from wash
        N37 04.399 W113 39.907
3.2   Stay in wash (L = up to Stucki)
        N37 04.482 W113 40.018
4.4   Snakepit Rim joins on R
        N37 05.180 W113 40.836
5.0   Hard L on Stucki Spring trail
        N37 05.659 W113 40.933
5.7   Alternates N37 05.387 W113 41.473
        (straight = plunge, R = around)
5.2   Alternates rejoin N37 05.366 W113 41.568
6.7   Viewpoint, Cottonwood Wash, turn L
        N37 05.227 W113 42.143
9.3   Keep R (L = down to Snakepit)
        N37 04.619 W113 40.243
9.6   Keep R (L = to Snakepit)
        N37 04.470 W113 40.184
10.3 Keep R at original Snakepit fork
        N37 04.261 W113 39.620
10.6 At 4-way, turn L
        N37 04.160 W113 39.387
10.7 Bottom of Clavicle Hill, fork R
        N37 04.202 W113 39.313
        East (R) on Bearclaw Poppy trail
        N37 04.209 W113 39.259
13.0 Back at Bloomington parking
        Single-page guide to above ride:  View to print    GPX course file for above ride:   Download

Riding resources for the trails in this area:
Single-page riding guide:  View to print
Larger detail map Stucki Springs loop for printing:  StuckiLoop.gif
St.George southwest, interactive map:  Load 
Track files (to download, right-click and select "Save target as..."):
    Graphic exchange format (GPX, Topofusion) trail files:  Entire area tracks
       Bloomington Microloop    Bloomington Micro westbound only      Bloomington return only
       Snakepit Figure-8    Classic Stucki to Bloomington 
Lodging, camping, shops:
   Links to St. George area resources

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